Colby College’s Will King (14) draws the foul as he drives to the hoop on Thomas College’s James Thomas Phelan (24) in the first half at Colby College in Waterville on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022. (Photo by Michael G. Seamans/Staff Photographer) 

WATERVILLE — On Tuesday night, Cooper Wirkala simply couldn’t miss.

Wirkala, a senior guard, scored 35 points — going 10 of 13 in 3-pointers — to lead the Mules to a 101-57 win over Thomas College in a non-conference game at the Crook Center.

The outing was a career night for Wirkala, an Oceanside High School graduate.

“I’ve had some good (shooting) practices (at Colby), but that was the first time it really translated to the court,” Wirkala said. “That was a great game, a great feeling.”

Both teams traded leads early. But after a timeout midway through the first half, the Mules (3-0) proceeded to go on a 26-0 run. Wirkala nailed 5 of his 10 3-pointers during the run and led the Mules with 23 points during the half. Colby went into the locker room with a 56-31 lead at halftime.

“I think after that third (3-pointer) went in, because it felt weird (off the hand) and still went it, I was like, ‘Alright, I’ve just got to keep shooting every time,'” Wirkala said. “I just kept getting open looks, my teammates kept finding me, so I just kept firing.”

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Colby College’s Will King (14) dishes the ball to teammate Liam O’Connell (0) as he is defended by Thomas College’s James Thomas Phelan (24) at Colby College in Waterville on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022. (Photo by Michael G. Seamans/Staff Photographer)  

“I thought we were able to move the ball well, get some open looks,” Colby head coach Damien Strahorn said. “We were able to stay with that style most of the way through. I think it was a really good step for us on both ends.”

Liam O’Connell had 15 points, while Max Poulton added 10 points for the Mules.

The Terriers (0-3) continued to fight in the second half, as Kory Winch scored most of his 13 points in the second half. But Colby’s lead was too much to overcome, and the Mules closed the game with an 18-0 run to seal the victory.

Rico Limcaoco scored 13 points for the Terriers, while Forest Hills graduate Parker Desjardins scored 10 points and added eight rebounds.

 

Dave Dyer — 621-5640

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Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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